A Preface on Terminology:
I am writing this piece as a renter living in an apartment in a small city on Turtle Island, assuming a readership composed of people living in cities, suburbs, and rural towns within the domain of industrial capital states. In writing this piece, I have found it difficult to come up with a phrase to describe the mythological modern home that I am trying to discuss, a struggle that is indicative of a larger issue regarding the difficulty we have with defining this era that we live in and in which we find ourselves. The subject of this difficulty would be an article for another issue, or perhaps many hours-long conversations (I certainly have had many in trying to come up with the perfect term!). How best to define the socio-political present? Colonial? Capitalist? Anthropocene? Technophilic? Western? In earlier drafts, I used the phrase “the capitalist home” until I recognized how this home appears in socialist countries as well. One can also trace the formation of this home of which I speak to predate capitalism, another strike against my original phrase, and also a reason as to why I do not find the phrase “the modern home” wholly accurate either. However, instead of taking on the responsibility of coining a new term, I am using what I believe to be the best phrase I have available. So, when I use the phrase “the modern home” in this article, I am speaking specifically of the types of home that most of us in industrialized countries find ourselves dwelling in. I hope this explanation clarifies, or at least provides context for the nuance embedded in this semantic riddle.


In late February to early March of 2020, I would wander to work as if in a daze. There was then a peculiar feeling of collective breath withheld, and a gentle relaxation of expectations. One by one, movie showings, parties, shows, and other events were postponed. And then stores began to close, one by one. My coworkers stopped showing up to work. I stopped showing up to work. Teetering on the brink and then there it was, the imminent lockdown that sent us back home, indefinitely.

The words “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” popped up in emails, advertisements, billboards, electrically spelled out in orange above highway roads. This was Washington state’s official lockdown message, and it served as something a little beyond urge or suggestion. Stay Home, Stay Healthy. Stay home; save lives. I remember driving across the bridge that overlooked a newly empty highway and there would sometimes be people with fancy cameras photographing the view—the sudden desolation of the once car-crowded roads now being captured by an errant photographer. The absence of the cars reminded me coolly that I should hurry on home.

In many ways, we were forced to confront head on our relationship to our homes as we found ourselves retreating from the out of doors now newly bound to our dwelling spaces—this, of course, also assuming one even has a home to go to!—and the idea of home as a place of safety, of sanctuary, a veritable fortress standing alone against the danger of the outside that is embedded in the message of Stay Home, Stay Healthy exacerbated and rekindled a misplaced memory of what it now means to be at home in the modern world.

In a world that claims to be rapidly reshaping our homes into autonomous sovereign spaces that can encapsulate everything from restaurant (the kitchen overflowing with food and cookbooks!) to love shack (time to hit the sheets!) to vacation space (staycations!) to workplace (remote work!) all contained in one neat package, it is important to remember how our homes got to be so all-encompassing, and so lonely.

The modern home’s façade, made of rooms, doors, windows, walls, roof, will often resemble other homes in one way or another in much the same way that we also, in one way or another, resemble each other. On the inside, our dwelling places will often mirror our unique character—our thoughts and our preferences and our histories and our beliefs can be tattooed across the insides of our homes. In fiction, it is not uncommon to stumble upon a home that will stand in as a metaphor for the psyche and state of being of the dweller of that home—a common literary trope which illuminates the stakes of understanding what it really means to be at home. Our dwellings therefore can be understood to be reflections of ourselves—similar to, but wholly distinct from, others.

The myth of the modern home suggests that your home is yours, it is you, it is filled with all your stuff, all belonging to you and you alone, different, individual, and uniquely so! Your favorite blanket, a potted plant, some picture or poster that shows you something you love or admire or aspire towards. You buy things, you make things out of things you have bought, and aestheticize your home in a way that you believe is wholly uniquely yours, separate from anyone else’s[1].

The spectacle presents itself simultaneously as society itself, as a part of society, and as a means of unification. As a part of society, it is the focal point of all vision and all consciousness. But due to the very fact that this sector is separate, it is in reality the domain of delusion and false consciousness: the unification it achieves is nothing but an official language of universal separation[i].

The mythological modern home is also perhaps the one place you might be allowed to be your true self. It is at last and at the end of a long day, a private space where you can finally kick back and relax, where you can strip off all the layers and labels and masks which you are required to place so precisely upon yourself when you leave your home to inhabit public spaces. The “you” that you present to the world is not the “you” you embody at home! This public “you” is defined by your behavior, your character, your attitudes, and mannerisms, but ones that are pruned and soothed and smoothed over so carefully as to be acceptable by the status quo. But when you come home, all those societal rules which saturate the world outside the home can be immediately torn off, like your shoes, like your coat. You can shut the door to the outside world with its rules and expectations and you come home to your own self, naked and bare. The myth of the modern home promises a space where you are able to finally relax, to finally be yourself in the privacy of your own home. In this sense, the nature of inhabiting the modern home requires it to be—by definition—not a common or public space. A modern home is private! It is private property. Private from the prying eyes of the public. Private for personal use, private deeds. Private for you, all for yourself, fenced in, guarded well with locks, bright lights, and cameras.

Walls, doors, windows are all made to keep ourselves in and the rest out. In that sense, a home is a shelter built as a form of separation from the elements and everything else that belongs out of doors. The modern home has certainly pushed this notion to an extreme; it is largely built in a way to provide its dwellers an excess of ease and comfort. With a flick of a switch or the twist of a knob I can make the air hot, or cold, I can make light, or dark. I have many cushioned places to recline and rest. I can lock my door. These homes are boxes, empty spaces carved out to be separate from the rest of the world. Homes are what keeps us in and everything else out. If the going gets tough, if the weather gets rough, we can just go home.

To obey to mantra of Stay Home, Stay Healthy, we were made to remember that the modern home is something that is inherently separate. It is a space that we perceive to be cut off from others—other people and other spaces. This, then, is the myth of the modern home that is perfectly idealized, the subject of the spectacle, the object of commodified desire! You see it on commercials and in television shows, in books and in movies. Often it is multi-storied, or white picket-fenced, though sometimes it is a many-roomed flat—spacious and inviting and warm. It is an isolated secular unique private individual unit, separate from the rest of the planet and the elements, separate from the people and the pathogens, separate from society, separate from neighbors and from strangers.

Today, my modern home is my bunker just as much as it is my sanctuary. It serves both purposes, with the underlying condition of it being a separate place. But what are the ways in which it is not the separate, private, unique, individual entity that we are told to believe? Who tells this myth of the modern home, and for what purpose? Is the home at all true to this myth of separation? If so, in what ways?


Home is a composite of parts. Parts of a whole. There are the distinguished rooms with their names, yes, and the walls and the doors and the windows and stairs and the ceiling and the roof. But there is also the invisible network within the home that stands to make it connected to the world beyond the walls, and in that way, inherently inseparable from that world.

Our society is not one of spectacle, but of surveillance; under the surface of images, one invests bodies in depth; behind the great abstraction of exchange, there continues the meticulous, concrete training of useful forces; the circuits of communication are the supports of an accumulation and a centralization of knowledge; the play of signs defines the anchorages of power; it is not that the beautiful totality of the individual is amputated, repressed, altered by our social order, it is rather that the individual is carefully fabricated in it, according to a whole technique of forces and bodies[ii].

This modern home is a breeding ground for surveillance. From Amazon Alexas to doorbells with cameras, from smart phones to web tracking cookies to clouds, your cherished privacy is part of the myth of the modern home that is continually non-consensually connecting you to strangers who feed off your privacy. And within the walls themselves are yet woven even more agents of connectivity; if you press your ear to the walls, you can hear the gurgle, the electric hum.

Beyond the boundaries of the home itself we find a vast interlinked system of networks, pipes and wires that enable the modern city to function[iii].

Our light switches, our faucets, our electrical outlets, our gas and our heat, our daily appliances—our possessions we can often take as indisputable comforts tend to be heavily divorced from their often-violent origin. We are not readily told of the blood that is metaphorically caked on the walls when we move into a house, when we buy a new appliance. We might ignore the ghosts that haunt all these things that make up our modern home when we sign our lease or receive a deed, thrilled as we are to have a house to live in. Many never think about it. It can be easy to forget that to have a gas stove, a humming fridge, light by electricity, that the lives of plants and animals and people are dimmed forever by the ways in which all the energy and appliances that fuel the modern home are procured. Fracking, drilling, mining, enslavement, pollution, toxic waste—it can be easy to forget these poison ingredients that go into the making of the modern home.

It can be easy to forget the many ways in which our modern homes are haunted.

This is a poem by Xu Lixhi, a poet and an iPhone factory worker from China who took his own life due to the abhorrent working conditions determined by the company that owns the factory:

“I Fall Asleep, Just Standing Like That”

The paper before my eyes fades yellow

With a steel pen I chisel on it uneven black

Full of working words

Workshop, assembly line, machine, work card, overtime, wages…

They’ve trained me to become docile

Don’t know how to shout or rebel

How to complain or denounce

Only how to silently suffer exhaustion

When I first set foot in this place

I hoped only for that grey pay slip on the tenth of each month

To grant me some belated solace

For this I had to grind away my corners, grind away my words

Refuse to skip work, refuse sick leave, refuse leave for private reasons

Refuse to be late, refuse to leave early

By the assembly line I stood straight like iron, hands like flight,

How many days, how many nights

Did I – just like that – standing fall asleep?

— 20 August 2011[iv]

The company for which Xu worked, Foxconn, mass produces the majority of the world’s iPhones and has had twenty-three confirmed suicides of workers since 2007, including that of Xu, who was 24 when he died[2].

In the grotesque origin stories of modern comforts, I’m reminded of the misogynistic perspective of the wicked fairytale witch. If you read The Malleus Maleficarum: The Hammer of Witches by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, you will see something like this as being her story:

Once upon a time, there was a witch. She lived all alone in the deep, dark woods, where even the bravest animals, wolf and cougar did not dare to dwell. It was here she made her elixirs and cast her spells to harness her power. But where did her power come from, you might well ask! Why, from the blood and bones of the children she would sacrifice for the sake of the bidding of the devil! For the witch would take unto herself as midwife, and seek the pregnant Christian woman, and bear her baby during the labor. After the labor, the witch would take the newborn babe, kill it, and sacrifice it unto Lucifer. From this sacrifice, the witch was given ever more power of evil, and lived in greed, and abundance, and in wicked deliciousness where all her mortal needs taken care of, and her mortal sins deliberately explored[v].

What strikes me about this story[3] is the fear and condemnation surrounding the witch’s sacrifice and slaughter of innocent lives committed in order for her to gain wealth, power, and live in extravagant comfort. Is this not what we all partake in during this modern era?

To live the modern life today means to be complicit in state-sanctioned murder of people and planet. How much spilled blood is smeared on a phone? How many bones were broken to extract the metal from the mountains to build a car, a computer, a toaster oven? How much suffocation of our world does the void of those trees that were made to make books, doors, shelves, cabinets, tables, toilet paper contribute to?

Do you know how much blood is on your hands?

The occupation of and dwelling within the modern home is an act of violence upon this world that goes unnoticed or is intentionally erased because the spectacle is curated so that as many consumers as possible are taught to be physically and emotionally distanced from these atrocities. Yet, the destruction or displacement of that which lives on the land is the first step in the construction of the modern home. Much of the land upon which the modern home dwells was stolen, taken by violence, colonized, and then sloughed for development—this is land that is haunted by the genocide of people and the demolition of ecosystems. The draining of wetlands, the felling of forests, the conversion of rivers to sewers, the act of burying streams alive, and the mass slaughter of Indigenous peoples and displacement of survivors to the reservation—a violent terra-deforming is integral to the birth of the modern home.

For many, this home they would call home is not really their home. It is made up of so much that was not theirs to take, so much of what was not made to be taken.

Even quite literally, the home that you call your home is most likely owned by the landlord, or the bank. If you are one of the very few who no longer need to pay mortgage or rent for your home, you probably either spent a good third of your life working very hard to do so, or you inherited it or bought it outright by the means of a privilege that requires others to go without. Either way, in the grand context of time, soon you will die, and your home will then belong to your inheritors (if you have any) or it’ll go back to the bank. More likely than not, it will someday fall once again into the hands of the landlords.

We can spend time trying to erase that connection, too—we can try to ignore the way the home is haunted by the specters of landlords and of banks. We can spend money making this home seem like it is our home, not our landlord’s home, nor the bank’s home. We spend time and money decorating our home with unique purchases, books, photographs, paintings, posters, furniture, carving out a perceptibly unique aesthetic, but at the back of our minds just as we know on some level that so much death and destruction goes into the making of the modern home, so too do we know, on some level, that this home does not belong to us. We must be complacent in order to simply inhabit this space, “our” home.


To inhabit the modern home, you must be an active participant in an industrial economy, overflowing with commodities cleverly articulated to catch your eye. I remember one day my philosophy professor told his students about a time when he and his wife had moved into their first home together. They spent many careful months decorating, they were selective in purchasing pieces of furniture which they believed would reflect their own unique aesthetic. It was that perfect blend of timeless traditional combined with some quirky unique modern pieces that made it so distinctly theirs! Shortly after moving to this space and turning it into their home, they were invited to dine at a new friend’s home. They made their way to the house, and stepped inside, removing coat and hat. In the foyer, they gladly received and exchanged salutations and greetings, a welcoming handshake, a tinkle of laughter, and all were relaxing gently into the visit, when—suddenly! My professor and his wife were momentarily struck dumbfounded! They were shocked to see that the home of this new friend looked almost exactly like their very own home.

The alienation of the spectator, which reinforces the contemplated objects that result from his own unconscious activity, works like this: The more he contemplates, the less he lives; the more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him. The spectator does not feel at home anywhere, because the spectacle is everywhere[vi].

Today, this phenomenon can be only more extreme! We are now no less than constantly exposed to the aesthetic of the spectacle to taint and tint our desire, through the glare of screens and commercials, almost all of it. Algorithms raid the history of you to design personified advertisements that suggestively and successfully beckon to you. I promise you, spake the spectacle, you want this. If you buy that, lulls the algorithm, you will feel better. Why, the purchase of this, it is self-care! You deserve it. This piece is so uniquely you.

The pleasure of self-care dwindles, the high of the purchase wears off as it somehow does not quite fill the void, the soul-gaping wound that this modern way of living sustainably gnaws into. The act does nothing to heal the ache. As consumer, you greedily consume the momentary bliss of purchase until it is all gone, and instead of satiation, you are left wanting, and confused. For when we engage in self-care, we take full and sole responsibility for the care of ourselves, and when these acts of self-care do not heal the ache, gratify the hunger, fill the void, it can become our understanding that we have failed. We can be led to believe then that there is something wrong with us. How could we have neglected our responsibility to take care of ourselves!

Depression has been rising steadily, particularly in North America, for the past fifty years[vii] and has more than tripled since the beginning of COVID-19[viii]. Can it be the fault of the depressed individual for not seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses? Is it not easier to understand this mental health crisis as a symptom of a society and way of living that is, itself, sick?

The image of blissful social unification through consumption merely postpones the consumer’s awareness of the actual divisions until his next disillusionment with some particular commodity. Each new product is ceremoniously acclaimed as a unique creation offering a dramatic shortcut to the promised land of total consummation. But as with the fashionable adoption of seemingly aristocratic first names which end up being given to virtually all individuals of the same age, the objects that promise uniqueness can be offered up for mass consumption only if they have been mass-produced. The prestigiousness of mediocre objects of this kind is solely due to the fact that they have been placed, however briefly, at the center of social life and hailed as a revelation of the unfathomable purposes of production. But the object that was prestigious in the spectacle becomes mundane as soon as it is taken home by its consumer — and by all its other consumers. Too late, it reveals its essential poverty, a poverty that inevitably reflects the poverty of its production. Meanwhile, some other object is already replacing it as representative of the system and demanding its own moment of acclaim[ix].

The pursuit of self-care is relatively commonplace and requires the prioritization of the self. But putting oneself first doesn’t come naturally. The human being is a social creature. We like to run in our packs, and we rely on one another to survive, thrive, and to live meaningful lives. A true community is inherent to life and a life worth living, and this mass prioritization of the self would mean certain death in a bygone age. And still, under modernity, and especially under capitalism, we have been made to market ourselves as unique and wholly distinct from other people. We wear a new and different brand, we compete our marketable uniqueness, our individuality, and our special talents against our kin and our comrades, against our friends and neighbors and against perfect strangers too. We are against each other, we are not together, we are not for each other. We are for ourselves.

We are “independent”.

In 1928, a presidential speech given by notoriously racist mine operator (who referred to himself as a “self-made millionaire”) Herbert Hoover spoke to this insistence of independence:

We were challenged with a peace-time choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines—doctrines of paternalism and state socialism[x].

In this speech he proclaimed how the American system should be one that is run by the rugged individual, and the American citizen should continually strive for self-reliance. Years later, during the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan took up the torch and continued to profess the capitalist myth of rugged individualism as a direct response to general condemnation of communism. If communism implies a common, shared ownership and responsibility for society, then capitalism must be the opposite. In the U.S., we were organized into nuclear families isolated behind the walls of our home, or nuclear units made of come-and-go roommates, where we were made separate from our neighbors, from each other, where true community was nearly impossible.

I currently live in a small city in the Pacific Northwest, where in any neighborhood you will find punks, anarchists, and people with low incomes living in the same neighborhood as the business-owners, the bosses, and the upper-class, who are also living in the same neighborhoods as the conservatives, the liberals, the fascists, the cops. I don’t think this is a unique situation. My friend Olga speaks to this in a piece of writing she sent me where in the city we are expected to “silently consent to be in community with strangers on a constant basis.”[xi] What in the hell could community possibly mean in a place like this? Isn’t community meant to be formed of those with similar affinities, who look out for one another, who support and push and nourish each other? Formed by members who trust one another, with deep relationships formed over time, over the act of growing and building and living together? How can you live in community with those to whom you must hand over so much of the money you are required to earn simply to survive in this lethal modern society? How can you live in community with those who want you dead?

My neighbor is a landlord. My neighbor is a fascist. My neighbor is an anarchist. This is not community.

No, in the modern home, we cannot truly rely on our neighbors. Community is formed haphazardly, sometimes online and across many miles of distance. Community is fragile and fleeting. And so, we are responsible wholly for ourselves or for our nuclear families. And so, we are strong for providing for ourselves. And so, we aim to be self-reliant; we would be weak if we relied on one another. And so, we begin to believe that isolation is empowering.

The spectacle cannot be understood as a mere visual excess produced by mass-media technologies. It is a worldview that has actually been materialized, a view of a world that has become objective[xii].

I have said that the home has been used as a trope that is meant to represent the self. If we can suppose that we are made to perceive our home as a private, unique, and wholly separate entity, so too can we imagine that we ourselves are also meant to be a similarly separate, private, unique, individual entity as well.

Isn’t this the capitalist myth, boiled down?

To follow in these footsteps, to find power in isolation, to seek separation, to favor self-reliance, self-care over collective care, is to maintain these capitalist ideologies and modern myths.


The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images[xiii].

In Plato’s Republic, Plato writes a dialogue in which Socrates is sharing a story with Glaucon about people who are chained up in a cave. They are chained up in a way that they can only see right in front of them, but they cannot see that behind them there are unchained others who are holding up objects in front of a light so that the objects cast a shadow on the wall in front of the chained people. These chained people are presented with a whole slew of shadows of objects. The people in the cave see the shadows and are made to believe these shadows are the objects themselves, that the shadows are the true thing. Then, one of the people in the cave is let free of his chains, and, with great difficulty, is made to leave the cave. When he steps outside and adjusts to this whole new world, he is absolutely awestruck. Wow, he thinks. Colors exist! It’s extremely bright! Things are tangible! I can touch them, and they all feel different! The world is three dimensional! And he runs back into the cave to share his findings with his people. Instead of being excited at the beautiful world that awaits them beyond the cave, Socrates explains that the people in the cave, if they had the means to, would surely kill this man. Glaucon agrees[xiv].

Without ascribing any anarchist beliefs to the man who wrote with such fondness of the city state, I will say that I still find Plato’s cave allegory to be an incredibly appropriate metaphor for life under modernity. Modernity presents us with shadow versions of basic desires like connection, community, passion. Lacking an authentic frame of reference, we may find ourselves confusing this pseudo-world, in the words of Debord, for the real one, just as Plato’s fictional cave dwellers mistook cast shadows for the world itself. We may be able to find sporadic and unstable community that is often changing. We might dive head-first into self-care. We could turn our passion into our job, our livelihood, our survival. We would connect, online. We may live in a somewhat comfortable home that exudes an air of distinct separation. We take them and think: Well, perhaps this is the true thing. I suppose it must be. I see nothing else that will fill this void inside me. I will make do with what I have, and I must be happy. This must be a meaningful life. With some sadness we will take this small part of what could be beautiful, and we try to fill the void with it. Some of us may try so hard to believe that it is fulfilling that we will actually begin to feel some stable joy in this life. But while we may even yet find meaning and some happiness within the modern life inside the cave, it is but a shadow of the true beautiful happiness and meaning that we would find outside and beyond this modern life that we are led to believe is all we can hope for.

Understood in its totality, the spectacle is both the result and the project of the dominant mode of production. It is not a mere decoration added to the real world. It is the very heart of this real society’s unreality. In all of its particular manifestations — news, propaganda, advertising, entertainment — the spectacle represents the dominant model of life. It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choices that have already been made in the sphere of production and in the consumption implied by that production. In both form and content the spectacle serves as a total justification of the conditions and goals of the existing system. The spectacle also represents the constant presence of this justification since it monopolizes the majority of the time spent outside the production process[xv].

I don’t think it is self-care that we crave. I don’t think self-care is truly possible. Or rather I worry about how easy it is to slip into mindless self-indulgence and apathetic gluttony when self-care feeds addiction of thoughtless, pleasure-seeking consumption and cements said self as a constituent of capitalism. Self-care is but the false shadow version of a real basic desire. What we crave isn’t self-care, then. What we crave is community. What we crave is mutual aid, and collective care. We miss being together. We miss sharing the responsibility of caring for all of us together. To build and grow for one another to thrive instead of working for oneself to survive.

When I am hurting, I want to be taken care of. I am tired of taking care of myself. When you are hurting, I don’t want you to take care of yourself. I want us to take care of you.

In much the same way that it can be easy to believe that we are separated from the world within our homes, it can also be easy to believe that we are unique and separate from one another. But home has never been these things. Even now, the sense of home as separate, unique, and private, though very strong, is largely untrue. If home has never been these things, if home is not this separate space even now, perhaps we follow suit. We are not alone. We are not separate from one another. We influence, inspire, and infect each other. The outside always finds a way to press in.

Once upon a time we lived in true community with one another. The home of bygone days involves a home that is not separate, a home that is connected, a home that is shared, a home that is communal. The modern home of today differs in almost every regard. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been made to spend a lot of time dwelling within this modern home. We have been made to think about what it means to be at home, and I for one do not like what it means.

“Rented Room”

A space of ten square meters

Cramped and damp, no sunlight all year

Here I eat, sleep, shit, and think

Cough, get headaches, grow old, get sick but still fail to die

Under the dull yellow light again I stare blankly, chuckling like an idiot

I pace back and forth, singing softly, reading, writing poems

Every time I open the window or the wicker gate

I seem like a dead man

Slowly pushing open the lid of a coffin.

— 2 December 2013[xvi]

To dwell in the modern home means to believe we are separate. How then can we change what it means to be at home? If we abandon this illusion of separation to its fullest, what is left of our modern home?

Amid the trillions of varieties of different dwelling places that scattered across this world, there is the one home that we all share—it is this earth, this big, brilliant whole world that is always around us, infuses us, is us and which has been home to us since time immemorial. This is the lesson we have been made to forget—that our home is not this room, this box, it is not this neighborhood, this city, this town, this country. It is not carved out separate from the rest of the world; our home is this world. And our modern way of living is fundamentally at odds with this world. Our modern comforts continue to destroy our one and only common home. They do not have to.

This is an invitation for you to come back down to earth. This is an invitation for you to touch the soil with your bare feet and to deplete the modern diaspora of civilization that separates us from our tether to this world.

This is an invitation to welcome you back home. How you make yourself at home here is up to you.

[1] In this article, I am collapsing together the idea of one’s unique home and the idea of one’s unique room—these shall be synonymous when I speak of one’s home. The isolated nuclear family to which one might ascribe, or the roommates with whom one might share a house both abide by the myth of the modern home, albeit in different ways. Home can mean many things, and I am particularly interested in the individual, unique, separate and private space in which individuals dwell if they are privileged enough to have a roof over their head, be it an entire house or a room inside a house. In this essay I speak of the literal home or house or dwelling place which a global modern society portrays as an end goal of sorts—the home as seen within the spectacle.

[2] Inequality is inherent to (and quite possibly the origin of) the division of labor. Companies wring value from workers and the more-than-human world (derisively termed “natural resources”). The creation of most of our cherished modern products rests upon a foundation constructed from the suffering of others.

[3] This ritual sacrifice of a new-born baby is intentionally misunderstood and misconstrued, for the women who were witches and midwives did have the power to help cease unwanted pregnancies, not through a pact with Satan, but by way of emmenagogues (herbs to bring on the menses even if pregnant which would then terminate the pregnancy) or abortifacients (herbs to cause abortion if the pregnancy is in its later stages). The Malleus Maleficarum purposefully depicts the mythological violent slaughter of living children as a grotesque exaggeration of herbal birth control methods and is nothing more than a myth for a patriarchal society to seek false justice through misogynistic torture and murder of those so-called “witches” whom they feared and were jealous of for their power among the people and of their knowledge of the natural world. See Carolyn Merchant’s The Death of Nature for more on this topic.


[i] Debord, 1977

[ii] Foucault, 1978

[iii] Gandy, 2005

[iv] chuang, 2014

[v] Institoris, 1987

[vi] Debord, 1977

[vii] Iliades and Bass, 2013

[viii] Watts, 2021

[ix] Debord, 1977

[x] Hoover, 1928

[xi] Mikolaivna, 2021

[xii] Debord, 1977

[xiii] Debord, 1977

[xiv] Bloom, 2016

[xv] Debord, 1977

[xvi] chuang, 2014


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